West Indies labouring to 126-4 after 25 overs

Floyd Reifer

Barbadian pop star Rihanna was in the crowd at the Emirates Riverside and would have felt West Indies were on course to pull off the record World Cup run chase - which remains the 329-7 Ireland scored against England in India in 2011 - after Nicholas Pooran (118 off 103) rallied his team from 199-6 with his first ODI ton.

With tailenders Sheldon Cottrell and Oshane Thomas at the crease, all the momentum went out of the chase, and the West Indies fell short by 24 runs, finishing on 315-9.

Earlier batting first, Sri Lanka posted mammoth 338 for six, their highest total in this world Cup.

But when Nicholas Pooran (108) and Fabian Allen (51) combined in an 83-run, seventh-wicket stand, the superstar singer from Barbados was back on her feet along with the crowd.

Pooran, 23, held the innings together but the West Indies' hopes were badly hit when Carlos Brathwaite was unluckily run out when bowler Isuru Udana diverted the ball into the stumps off his fingertips with the batsman out of his ground at the non-striker's end. "Roach is unwell and Gabriel will play", said Holder after winning the toss.

The West Indies slipped out of contention last week following a fourth consecutive defeat, but coach Floyd Reifer said the future starts with the game against Sri Lanka.

The wicket all but ended West Indies' chances of registering a win, rendering the remaining 2 overs a formality.

"Angelo put his hands up and said "OK I will bowl two overs".

The Widies struck their first breakthrough in the 15th over when Sri Lankan captain Dimuth Karunaratne was caught behind by Shai Hope through Jason Holder's delivery and left for 32 runs.

Sri Lanka beat West Indies y 23 runs in CWC 2019.

In other circumstances, Fernando's maiden ODI century would have enhanced Sri Lanka's chances of reaching the World Cup semifinals.

Watch every game of the Cricket World Cup live on Sky Sports, including India vs Bangladesh from 10am on Tuesday, England vs New Zealand from 10am on Wednesday and West Indies vs Afghanistan from 10am on Thursday. Fernando made a 104 contribution before he departed for the pavilion. Fernando stitched 85 runs with Kusal Mendis (39) and then sharing 58 and 67 with Angelo Mathews (26) and Lahiru Thirimanne (45 n o), respectively.



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